It is clear, at least to me, that without a long-term branding perspective, you can’t build a long-term brand. Once you have a long-term brand, then a short-term perspective is needed to keep the brand fresh and relevant.
In this era of increasing accountability and metrics that instantly record UPC sales and online clicks and orders, the pressure continues to grow for ROI. But, too often, ROI means only short-term sales in response to advertising. This discipline is great – if you have an established, strong brand (such as Coke or McDonald’s). However, if you do not have a brand that immediately connects with consumers on a visceral level, then focusing on the short-term rewards will likely keep you from establishing the connection that fuels your future growth.
When Coke put St. Nick into Coke’s colors in magazine ads almost a century ago, those ads likely did not produce an immediate sales boost, but it has helped the iconic brand reach that status.
More than a decade ago, BMW’s innovative series of short films, like The Hire, did not lead to immediate sales at the time, but reenergized the brand. It created the necessary connection that makes short-term stimulus-response marketing work best.